In which we discuss business trips with drive by yarn shop stops, discover we are both connected to an Indie dyer, alpaca barn parties, yet more snow, class with Abby Franquemont, cranking and spinning, cabled yarns, spinning wheel maintenance, a bit of outside work for Jan and a trip to the MN Closed Chess Championship for Wilson. (Congrats, Wilson!)
Ellen is hungering for spring after Minneapolis got hit by the biggest storm of the season. But she had a wonderful class with Abby Franquemont to distract her from the weather. And it was fun spinning through the class with LizzyRae, aka Lisa. Jan didn’t enter her babies Violet and Sweet William in the national alpaca show, but she did enter photos in the national photo contest. She’s added to her busy schedule with some consulting on a university proposal. Ellen’s waiting to see how Wilson does in the MN Closed Chess Championship.
Ellen enjoyed seeing her niece and nephew and meeting a new beer, Hop Knot, while on a work trip in Arizona. She really enjoyed a visit to the Heard Museum of Native American Art and Culture. And a visit to Tempe Yarn and Fiber where she got to add more beans to her diet - her yarn diet - with sock yarn dyed with black beans.
Jan made a boomerang trip to a party with some good friends in DC. She forgot her knitting light for the journey back, but as tired as she was, that may have been for the best. In shocking news, she and Dale made it the first mud sale of the year and didn’t buy anything!
The alpaca have been having their own party - they broke into the barn and had quite the fiesta.
Jan has been working on socks, just like last episode.
Ellen has another Ravellenics project on her runway. She’s knitting a chemo cap for a dear friend whose motto is “Knit 1, Kill 1 Billion”. The cap is Shedir out of Rowan Calmer. She also has the usual on her runway - Limpid which is her version of Martina Behm’s Lintilla ,and Forever in the Forest. She also cast on another pair of socks out of Modeknit ModeSock yarn.
Ellen was Bitten by her chemo cap Knittin’ - she didn’t cast on the right number of stitches to allow the cables of the hat to flow out of the 1×1 rib so had to fudge a bit, then when it was time to decrease, she inadvertently left one side of the cable formation off the design. Dropping down, converting some purls to the needed knits to allow a meandering knit stitch which she picked up in pattern, and all was well. Jan had issues with cables, too - rows between turns and direction of cable turn seem to confuse her, even in her own design.
This episode, the twins answered the What Would Listeners Ask question from Paintermom of how to maintain wheels. Ellen recommended oiling all moving parts - but not sealed bearings. Check your owner’s manual. Jan recommended a good cleaning and a wax to prevent drying. (There has been a good discussion on the TwinSet Designs Ravelry group as to whether this is a good idea - in humid climates, wax may encourage dust and tackiness).
In a discussion of filling the bobbin, we also discuss how to find your lost end. First, don’t lose it. When the singles breaks, keep treading, don’t stop. A few more treadles and the end often is flung away from the wound mass and is easy to find. And use a life-line - after making one pass of filling the bobbin, start back at the other end. This leaves a length of singles running nearly perpendicular to the next pass of wound on singles. If an end gets lost, it can’t be buried further down than that life line.
Jan reports that the fiber judging is finished and shipped. Ellen talked more about her Abby class, focusing on cabled yarns. The experiment which she found so intriguing followed this process:
- Spin 3 different singles, one wool, one silk and one ramie. Spin these clockwise (Z-twist)
- Create a 3-ply yarn using these 3 singles. Ply this counter-clockwise, or S-twist. Save plenty of each singles for Yarn B.
- Ply that 3-ply yarn back on itself, which is called cabling. Ply in your original direction, clockwise or Z-twist.
- Using the wool single, make a 2-ply yarn spinning counter-clockwise or in an S-twist. An Andean bracelet will be a slick way of achieving this for a sample length (see below).
- Do the same for the silk singles, then the ramie singles.
- Now using clockwise spinning (Z-twist), ply all 3 2-ply yarns together.
The difference in appearance of the two yarns is surprising, especially given that the fiber content is identical.
Ellen is also spinning up a skein of fingering weight yarn from a lovely top of silk/wool dyed by Enchanted Knoll Farm in Bruised Ego colorway.
In fiber jargon, Ellen clarified the difference between Andean plying and Andean bracelets. In short, the people of the Andes use many techniques to ply and to refer to Andean bracelets as “Andean plying” reduces the breadth of techniques that they use to just one technique which they would typically use for short lengths of singles.
Jan’s Fun Fur is really, really fun. Math with Bad Drawings. Go look at it and laugh. Ellen’s Fun Fur is Drive By Yarn Store Visits (see reference to Tempe Yarn and Fiber, above). Ellen brought home some Sonoran Desert Dyed Fibers from Cheryl Griset - and found out that Cheryl is a buddy of Jan’s from when she lived in the West!
Jan’s slick trick is to tuck her ball of sock yarn into her first sock as she starts her second sock. It is a just-in-time yarn bra!
The Living Doll contest winner is averill73, also known as Liz! You can all be winners by buying the new e-book from Susan B. Anderson. Check out “Mary, Millie and Morgan“to learn how to knit your own doll in a new TwinSet Designs KAL. Check out the Ravelry Group thread. The KAL will run through Summer Solstice, which occurs at 6:51 am Eastern Daily Savings Time.
Ellen’s Fashion Forecast includes a sheep shearing day at Gale Woods Farm, Yarnover, and StevenBe’s FiberFest. Jan will be teaching classes at Flying Fibers - March 20 she teaches toe-up socks and April 17 she teaches an introduction to entrelac class using the pattern she has long promised us.
In the meantime, enjoy the show!